Appeals from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, July T., 1974, Nos. 1562 to 1565, inclusive, in cases of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Harvey Anderson, and Same v. Same.
Carolyn Engel Temin, Assistant District Attorney, with her Steven H. Goldblatt, Assistant District Attorney, Abraham J. Gafni, Deputy District Attorney, and F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellant at No. 756, and appellee at No. 398.
Anthony D. Pirillo, Jr., for appellant at No. 398, and appellee at No. 756.
Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. (Hoffman, J., absent). Opinion by Watkins, P. J. Hoffman, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
[ 237 Pa. Super. Page 209]
This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, sustaining a motion in arrest of judgment in favor of the defendant-appellee, Harvey Anderson, a lawyer, after his conviction of the charge of uttering a forged instrument.
The appellee was charged with interfering with the performance of the duties of poll watchers, conspiracy to interfere with an election, conspiracy, forgery, and uttering a forged instrument. Demurrers to the evidence were
[ 237 Pa. Super. Page 210]
sustained by the court below to all charges save that of uttering a forged instrument.
The Constitutional Party had obtained certification for its poll watchers according to law. Certification was also obtained for bogus poll watchers for the Constitutional Party by use of forged party letterheads. These illegal poll watchers stationed themselves at the polls and prevented the legitimate watchers access to the polls to perform their duties. The Constitutional Party took the necessary action to revoke the bogus certificates and it was then that the appellee presented the petition to Judge Latrone of the Court of Common Pleas below containing the affidavits of Simone Greene and Sam Wooten seeking an injunction to restrain the Constitutional Party watchers from exercising their duties. The court issued the injunction. In obtaining this injunction the appellee bypassed the Philadelphia Election Court.
At the trial, Sam Wooten, one of the affiants, testified that he had never signed nor had knowledge of the petition which the appellee presented to Judge Latrone. Anderson did not take the stand but presented a long list of character witnesses as to his excellent personal and professional reputation. The jury returned a verdict of guilty of uttering a forged instrument. The jury evidently inferred from the circumstantial evidence that the appellee had actual knowledge that the instrument was a forgery and thus intended to utter the same.
The court below sustained the appellee's motion for arrest of judgment on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the guilty verdict. The court did sustain demurrers to all other charges and in his opinion concerning the instant case the court below stated: "Out of an abundance of caution, the Court did not ...